The Hugs and Chocolate ladies are pleased to have Laura Long as a guest today. Hope you enjoy!
Lately I’ve become a bit of a liar. I wish I could say it was one of those ”Your haircut looks fantastic!” kind of lies, but it’s worse.
Much, much worse.
Because I’ve been lying to myself.
You see, I started thinking, no, *believing* that I would never finish writing this book. I could sit down and write scenes, paragraphs, long passages of script, but a few days would pass and the doubts would creep in.
“How good is this scene really?”
“Look at all that red–grammar and spelling errors everywhere. Why can’t I fix them as I go along? Am I really that stupid?”
“Why are you even trying anymore? It’s not like anyone is reading this.”
I began to see writing as a competition I was losing. I began viewing the success of others as diminishing my own work. My own writing gifts weren’t the same as someone else’s, so somehow they were less than.
Eventually these thoughts became so overwhelming that they did something worse and turned into action. Or rather inaction.
I stopped editing. I stopped writing. I stopped caring.
I let the lies poison something I loved.
A few weeks ago my husband brought me back to my truth.
I have an hour in the morning.
I call it my quiet hour.
My husband is usually getting ready for work, and my children are still sleeping. I spend that hour writing. And while I was lying to myself, I spent that hour skimming social media websites. Pinning to Pinterest. Searching eBay. Doing anything other than what I should have been doing.
“How’s your writing going?” my husband asked me one morning, when I was clearly watching a YouTube video of a cat singing the alphabet.
Halfway through my shrug of indifference I started crying.
“I just feel like I can’t do it anymore,” I told him. “I’m just not good enough to be a real writer.”
The lies had become so crippling, it wasn’t about the writing anymore, it was the way I felt about myself.
Then my husband planted my first truth. The first step in smothering the lies.
“But you’ve already done it,” he said.
“What?” I asked him, hiccuping.
He looked confused and said, “You’ve already written a book. So obviously you’re good enough.”
He pointed at my goal chart on the wall next to me. “Finish a book. Check.”
When he saw I wasn’t going to respond, and I wasn’t crying anymore, he straightened up and went to fix his lunch.
I grasped at the first truth. Then I read the rest of my goals.
Write my book. Check.
Sell a hundred copies. Check.
Get my first good review from a stranger. Check.
And on and on. Yes, most of them weren’t checked, but a good third of them were.
I felt a little better. I was good enough to finish a book. I decided to write this down, because I am a writer and that is what we do (which I also wrote down). I then began to fill my belief box with more truths to starve my lies. I read the educational blogs I had been neglecting, to root out more truths about myself, and search for truths that perhaps I could work on.
I took back my quiet hour, free from distractions and all the things I thought were clamoring for my attention.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
Am I really free yet? No, but now I recognize the lies for what they are, and I can move forward.
That is what is really important.
LM Long is the author of “Founder,” and a writer for the blog “Mommy Authors.” She strives to find the balance between parenting and writing.
Mommy Authors: http://mommyauthors.blogspot.com/